Wind. Rain. Mud. Puddles. More wind. More mud. (Unless perhaps you were in Lanzarote…). A giant new Ranelagh flag, some XC and an epic ultra. Just another week in the Ranelagh rundown. So that’s it. No need to read any further…
… What you’re still here??! Okay, if you insist…
Welcome to another edition of your weekly Ranelagh Strava rundown! You ran 875 activities across 7602 km in the past week. That’s down about 5% on last week you bunch of slackers!
🔹The ultra runners in the club have been eagerly dot watching this weekend, as some of the most notorious and toughest ultramarathons in the UK have been underway along the Pennine Way. The longest and most extreme version, the Spine Race, is a whopping 268 mile continuous race along the full length of the exposed and boggy Pennine Way in mid winter. The outright race record is held Jasmin Paris, an absolute legend finishing it in around 83 hours in 2019. As we go to print, Ultra Damo and Kim Collinson are still head to head at the front, in a touch of deja-vu to last year. Closer to home Ranelagh’s very own Jim Graham was taking part in the Spine Challenger (a mere 108 miles – insert suitably shocked face), and was in 4/5th place when he sadly withdrew as he got super cold and was unable to warm up. (Hypothermia is a real risk on these types of ultras folks). Despite the DNF, we are all understandably impressed with his epic effort at a truly brutal event and are eagerly awaiting all the gory details (preferably in a suitably warm and cozy environment!). And as you might expect after such an epic effort, Jim is topping the leaderboards all round. A big shout out also to clubmate Rick Jenner, who swapped Richmond for Richmondshire this weekend as he was worried about Jim driving home post event, and so went up to support him (popping up along the route, as well as providing real time updates and videos to the Ranelagh Ultra Crew) – what a running buddy!
🔸While we’re talking running a little further from home, a shout out to Samuel Harry who completed the Valencia 10K in an impressive 35:33. We also spotted Bruce was out in Lanzarote this week, on a running camp with none other than Tom Evans (British ultra runner, 3rd in UTMB last year). Didn’t look wet or muddy enough to us. But he did nostalgically refer to his hill repeats out there as Nightingales. Ok we forgive you Bruce…
🔹On the subject of Nightingales, we spotted Alex Ring adding in some ‘bonus Nightingale treats’ to the end of his long run… perhaps he’s been spending a little too long in Adv 2 group when you start referring to Nightingale as a “treat”?!
🔸But with all that mud, what better use for it than some Cross Country! This weekend the women’s Surrey League took place in Beckenham Place Park, an undulating course with generous helpings of mud. The ladies had an exciting start with much confusion about where the start actually was, whilst they eagerly awaited Suzy’s mum to arrive to join Maisy Fowler and complete the cheer squad. Unfortunately traffic conditions weren’t favourable, and Clare had to run an unintended handicap starting around 5 mins late. She stormed round, overtaking the whole way to close in our team as 5th scorer. Leading by example, women’s captain Suzy Whatmough finished in an extremely strong 10th position – amazing result Suzy! The team, in finishing order, was made up of Suzy, Liz Kipling (coming back really strong for her first Surrey League in over 8 years), Lizzie Broughton, Cecily Day, Clare Fowler, Clare Day, Sally Bamford, and Ruth Gledhill. They finished as 11th team overall, which should keep them clear of relegation. A plea from Suzy: “ladies keep the 11th Feb free for the final match and let’s finish strong 😀”
🔹Now before we talk about the men’s XC, I think we need to talk about their flag… A source of embarrassment to the men’s team for a number of years, men’s captain James Riley decided it was time to relegate the minuscule old flag and buy the men a more super sized erection! He was slightly worried about the high winds for its debut, but thankfully it remained erect throughout. Hide your flag in shame no longer boys…
🔸But back to the actual running… It was the strongest and deepest men’s team Ranelagh have fielded in years. 31 runners descended on a very wet Chobham Common for the Division 2 race. It was very much a course of 2 halves: a downhill through one massive puddle followed by a muddy uphill which became a quagmire with 400m to go. Ryan Hogan led Ranelagh home in 7th from Pat Wright 11th, Henry Fagan 15th (2nd U20) and a superb run from VC Jonathan Smith 17th. Performance of the day though goes to the returning Graham Brook who finished 56th, with honours also for Chris Lepine 1st V50 and Mick Lane 1st V60. There were rumours at the end that we might have sneaked the win but we were 2nd again behind the Clapham Chasers juggernaut, more importantly consolidating our grip on the second promotion position. Thanks to David Ready and Gordon Whitson for their support.
A few other runs that caught your correspondent’s attention this week:
🔹Jo Marshall playing “pace roulette” with her dog Cooper – sounds fun!
🔸Wiebke’s Strava art butterfly – very elegant, perhaps like the lady herself
🔹Yet another Box Hill fell race recce – this time with James Ritchie, Suzy and Mark Herbert, with Mark particaulry enjoying the final flying grass descent!
Also a shout out to all those marathon training at the moment – we see you putting in the miles in all weather – great work, keep it up!
📢 Announcements 📢
🏃♀️ 🏃♂️ Don’t miss out on your early bird entry for the Ranelagh Half Marathon (7 May) and the Ranelagh 10k (25 June). THESE PRICES WILL NOT LAST LONG. To enter, go to https://bit.ly/ranelaghhalf or https://bit.ly/ranelagh10k
🥳 Our social secretaries Hadi & Rebecca writes: Let’s get Quizzical” – the Ranelagh quiz night is back! It’s time to take your trail shoes off and get your thinking caps on for the quiz night, led my our very own Presidential Quiz Master – Mr Ted Mockett.
Where: Ranelagh Clubhouse
When: 7pm Saturday 18 February
Why: It will be great fun
Entry fee for the quiz is £10 per person, pizza, salads and drinks are included. Teams will compete for prizes but the real fun will be taking part. All you need is a little street cred, life smarts and a healthy dose of common sense to participate in some fine banter and fits of laughter whilst enjoying some pizza and beverages.
For now, simply save the date and we will be in contact soon with details on how to sign up.
🥇 Jim Graham 153.7km
🥈 Ralph Street 137.5km
🥉 Jonathan Moore 123.5km
🥇 Cordy Parker 100.9km
🥈 Lucy Urbas 83.0km
🥉 Amanda Munro 63.5km
🥇Jim Graham 6,098m
🥈 Ralph Street 3,801m
🥉 Bruce McLaren 1,803m
🥇 Sally Minchella 970m
🥈 Suzy Whatmough 893m
🥉 Wiebke Kortum 651m
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